According to Mick Reinhard of Pennlive.com, the Washington Nationals have promoted the mostly consensus top pitching prospect in Major League Baseball, Lucas Giolito to Double-A Harrisburg. Based on his current schedule, Giolito will make his debut for the Senators on Tuesday night against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
By Reinhard’s estimation, Giolito will make eight starts at the Double-A level before the end of the season.
If Giolito stays on sked he will start 7/28 @ NH, 8/2 @ POR, 8/8 @ ERI, 8/14 vs Bowie, 8/20 @ AKR, 8/25 @ RIC, 8/30 @ ERI, 9/4 vs. AKR
— Mick Reinhard (@Mayflies) July 25, 2015
The Nationals’ 2012 first round draft pick out of the Harvard-Westlake School in Southern California has excelled this season in 11 starts for Single-A Potomac. Giolito posted a 2.71 ERA in 69.2 innings with a strikeout rate of 11.1 per nine against a walk rate of just 2.6. Opposing hitters are batting just .244. For his career, Giolito has posted a 2.36 ERA in 45 games. His 2012 campaign was limited to just one appearance as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
The Nationals have done their best to limit Giolito’s workload to this point in his career. His 2015 campaign did not start until May 8 after spending the month of April in extended spring training. The move to limit his innings early on has paid off, as Giolito will make the most of his final month-plus of the 2015 season against a higher caliber of hitter. The value of Giolito gaining that experience cannot be overstated as the Nationals face significant uncertainty in their rotation in 2016 with Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann both entering free agency and Stephen Strasburg continuing to be plagued by injuries.